Portrait in Time

One of the comments on my recent post “A Thousand Ships” was to show the image before and after. Well, I have created a before, during, and after set as well as a movie for your pleasure.


Unaltered image with only white balance adjustment from raw image.

This is the picture as it was captured in camera. The original file was in Camera Raw, so I was able to set the white balance, but that was the only correction made.

Retouched Portrait

Image after spot healing & dodge and burn

Image after spot healing, some dodge and burn to:

  • even skin tone
  • darken lips
  • whiten teeth
  • whiten eyes
Retouched Vignetted

Image with addition of vignette to highlight model

And lastly, some vignetting was added to make the model stand out better from the background. What is interesting to me about this step is that it also looks like the background was also blurred, but it was not. That is an optical illusion, I suspect, from the fact that your mind equates brighter with clearer.

Use the link to see the movie . It is easier to see the difference in the steps with the animation. Also, take the time to click on the individual images to get a full-size view. You will notice that you can still see individual pores and hairs.


3 thoughts on “Portrait in Time

  1. I appreciate your discipline with retouching. The current arsenal of tools available — not to mention the over-processed trends, a-la instagram — is affecting the overall perception of what a “good photograph” is, or should be. Thanks for the simplicity.

    • Thank you for the kind words. There is a time and place for everything, but a picture of a beautiful woman should show the actual woman IMO.

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